The Quidditch Post has learned through a document provided by an internal source that the International Quidditch Association has had its application to become a charitable incorporated organisation rejected by the Charity Commission, the regulator for such bodies in the United Kingdom.
The document, part of the organisation’s internal newsletter, disclosed to IQA staff that the Charity Commission rejected the IQA’s application on September 12, 2016. The main reason was the Commission’s view that not all the activities of the IQA could be deemed “charitable for the public benefit.”
“Based upon the terms of the constitution and the information provided, the IQA appears, in part, established to promote the sport of quidditch, to seek its international recognition, and establish its rules and governance,” the rejection reads. “This is distinct from the promotion of community participation. Promoting recognition and seeking to establish a sport is not itself a charitable purpose for the public benefit. We are unable to conclude that the IQA is established for charitable purposes for the public benefit, and the application to register is rejected.”
The Charity Commission rejection also said that the IQA has “very immature plans” for promoting gender equality outside the quidditch community.
When approached by the Quidditch Post, Nicole Hammer, interim Executive Director of the IQA, confirmed the veracity of the document. It is unclear exactly when Congress were informed of this decision, with Hammer only saying that she knew it had been “sometime this month.” A source in Congress clarified that this meant October 20, well over a month after the rejection had been received. Congress, Hammer stated, had been briefed in-depth, so that they and the Board could work together to decide further steps following the rejection. The news had not been released to the public as “speculation was not exactly conducive or helpful”, Hammer explained. It is unclear whether the public would have been informed had this internal document not come to light.
On October 7 of this year, almost a month after the rejection had been delivered, the IQA failed to disclose this rejection to applicants when it began recruiting for an Executive Director and further Trustees. Further the Congress passed a new Constitution based upon the eventual incorporation. The impact of this rejection is unclear on that process. Finally, the IQA continues to maintain significant sums in private bank accounts and without a formal organisational structure will continue to do so.
Another delay in forming a plan after the rejection was the lack of communication from the IQA’s pro bono legal aide, who Hammer explains “had not responded after the rejection.” The IQA will now be finding a new legal advisor, and as this will now involve legal fees, it is preferred by the IQA’s leadership that it is left to the Board and Congress to cooperate on the future plans to incorporate. As of publication, the IQA has not announced a timeline for its next steps.